Dear Parents and Guardians:
We are the Dublin ACT Youth Council, a group of high school students in Dublin Schools who are trying to assert positive peer influence, and here is a message we would like to share with you related to the upcoming Dublin Irish Festival:
As you may know, the Dublin Irish Festival is fast approaching. This is an incredibly popular event among Dublin residents, especially young people. Many teens enjoy going to the festival to socialize. However, in the past some teens have been prone to making poor decisions, particularly in terms of underage drinking. At the 2016 Irish Festival, 10 underage drinking arrests were made on location. This is a very serious issue that can have various negative consequences, and as concerned teens we feel very strongly that this issue needs to be addressed. Therefore, we would like to reach out to you to ask that you take the time to help your children to make positive choices.
Here are some things to consider about underage drinking:
• Out of all of the juvenile arrests for underage drinking that were made in June, July, and August of 2016, 77% of the arrests were made during the days of the Dublin Irish Festival.
• When it comes to the Dublin Irish Festival in particular, most teens drink with friends before going to the event.
• On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.
• Underage youth who drink are more likely to make poor decisions about engaging in risky behavior, including drinking and driving, unwanted sexual activity, and aggressive, violent, or reckless behavior.
• Due to recent policy changes, the Social Host Law now requires legal punishment for any adult that allows underage drinking, whether they are aware of the drinking or not.
• There is no such thing as “safe” underage drinking.
• According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in 2013 there were approximately 189,000 emergency room visits by person under the age of 21 for injuries and other conditions related to alcohol.
Here are some actions you can take to help protect your child:
• Make a plan to meet up at intervals, whether it’s in person or via text/call, during the Irish Festival.
• Have a conversation with your child about underage drinking. Remember, it’s important to not be threatening or to focus on punishments, as children are generally not responsive to scare tactics. It’s also very important to build a trusting relationship between both you and your child.
• Establish agreements with your children, so they understand why it’s important and beneficial for them to avoid underage drinking, and that it’s not just your rules (because rules are meant to be broken!).
• Get in touch with other parents to spread awareness about underage drinking and create a support system for families that want to keep their children safe and combat underage drinking.
• Set a good example for your children by modeling responsible behavior.
Thank you for your time and efforts to make the Dublin Irish Festival and the Dublin community a safer place.
Dublin ACT Youth Council
Dublin ACT Youth Council
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